Booking a room for the days you’ll be staying in an area is essential to save you time and energy. At times, though, you would want and need to cut your trip short, making you wonder, can you check out of a hotel early? This question is common for almost all travelers, whether you’re on a business trip, vacation, or quick beach getaway.
So, can you check out of a hotel early? Definitely, you can check out of the hotel earlier than your intended stay. However, you must always practice courtesy and good manners. You must also keep in mind the specific hotel’s policy to ensure there won’t be any surprises, especially in terms of fees.
That said, there are two types of early check outs: a day before the last day of the reserved dates and a few hours before the specified hotel check out time. Let us provide you with a detailed and clearer understanding of both and other related information to ensure you have the essential knowledge when facing the situation.
Can I Leave a Hotel a Day Early?
Leaving a day earlier than your reserved dates of stay is allowed. However, always inform the hotel receptionist as soon as you’re aware that you need to go earlier than what you intended to stay.
Not only is it a form of courtesy and good manners. Doing so will allow the hotel enough time to complete the standard checkout procedure.
They might also be able to fill in the room, whether with a walk-in guest or someone who needs to check in earlier than their booked dates. It is a win-win situation for both parties because you will have a high chance of negotiating. That is especially if they have strict policies that include additional charges.
You must also provide them with the specific details: the exact hotel check out time and your specific reason for early checkout. They would need these pieces of information for documentation and service improvement in case it’s why you decide to leave early.
One benefit you’ll enjoy when informing the staff of your early checkout is the extra assistance the hotel provides. It includes carrying your stuff out of the room and booking transportation for you from the hotel to your point of destination.
How Early Can You Check Out of a Hotel?
If you’re a frequent traveler, you’ll find that hotel check out time is a few hours before the check-in time. This practice is essential to give the staff enough time to check the room before finalizing your bill. It will also provide them with enough time to do the following:
- upkeep, clean, and sanitize the room,
- change sheets, towels, and pillowcases,
- and replenish supplies like tissue, toothpaste, soap, and pantry and refrigerator content.
It is why you’ll find that hotels charge late check out fees. That said, you don’t need to wait for the check out time for you to check out formally, charge-free.
Regarding the earliest time of checking out of a hotel, it will depend on the hotel staff’s working schedule. For instance, it would be insensitive of you to check out at 1 AM if the employees responsible for processing the bill and checking the room starts working at 5 AM.
So, how early can you check out of a hotel? Ideally, during the first hour wherein the staff in charge starts working.
The good thing is that some hotels have staff in every department 24/7, allowing you to check out anytime.
Can You Check Out of a Hotel Early and Get a Refund?
Since the answer to the question, “Can I leave a hotel a day early?” is a yes, the next thing you need to know is if you can get a refund. This usually applies to those who’ve paid in advance, as they expected to stay for as long as the days they’ve booked.
Unfortunately, most hotels won’t refund the amount for the day you won’t be using the room you’ve already reserved or booked. That’s because the room is considered “yours” on that day.
It goes without saying that the hotel didn’t accommodate any guest who needed that room while you were staying or when you officially reserved and booked. Thus, there’s an income or profit loss for them.
Partial refunds in certain situations are possible, though. An excellent example is when there was an unresolved critical issue with the room.
Either way, it’s best to call your travel insurance provider since most of them will pay for the charged booking you didn’t use. However, you would need to provide proof that you have a valid reason for leaving sooner than expected. It includes a death of a loved one, a sick family member, or you being ill.
Do You Get Charged If You Check Out of a Hotel Early?
Most hotels that give a refund will charge early departure fees when you check out a day earlier for similar reasons as above. Some that don’t provide one will also charge such fees. Also, some hotels can waive it in certain situations, such as if you’re lucky enough that a guest booked the room you’re about to vacate.
That’s why it’s advisable to read and understand the hotel’s policy before booking a room. If a travel broker booked your room, the applicable policy won’t be the hotel’s but the broker’s.
Fortunately, you can avoid this fee. One is to become an elite member of the hotel chain’s loyalty program, which is perfect for frequent travelers. Choosing a hotel with a rewards program is also ideal, as you can use your rewards to pay the fees. Lastly, take time to research hotels with no early departure fees or with flexible policies.
How to Check Out of a Hotel Early
When checking out earlier, below is a quick look at how to check out of a hotel. Do note that some hotels might have additional steps.
- Proceed to or call the front desk or reception to inform them that you need to check out earlier, giving the reason and specifying the exact time. Some hotels also use online check-in-check-out tools that you can use.
- Ask about any fees that you need to pay and negotiate if possible.
- Once done, start packing your things so you don’t forget anything.
- At any time, hotel staff will check the room to see what items are not included in the accommodation fee, such as soda and chips, and those you can’t bring home, like towels, have been used or consumed.
- You’ll be provided with a bill; via email for online check outs. If you’ve paid in advance, expect your bill only to contain extra charges.
- Check and verify to ensure there are no discrepancies. If there are, inform the reception for checking and correction.
- Once you have the correct bill, you can pay in several different ways, even cash, depending on what the hotel accepts. You may also authorize them to charge your credit card using the information you provided when you checked in.
- After settling the bill, the hotel should issue a receipt.
- Leave the key in the reception (or the room if allowed). You may also request that the hotel staff hail a cab or book transportation for you.
That’s it! You’re done.
Can You Check Out of a Hotel Early: In Conclusion
By now, it’s clear that checking out of a hotel earlier than you’ve booked or reserved is allowed. What you need to remember is that every hotel has its own policy and terms and conditions, so ensure you familiarize yourself with them before booking. If you hired an agent, broker, or third-party agency to book accommodation for you, make sure you ask and understand their policies.
Have a safe and fulfilling trip!